Tim Roth has defended Quentin Tarantino, saying the interviewer who recently drew the director's wrath on the question of film violence “came out looking a bit shabby”.
The British actor, who starred in Tarantino's breakthrough film 'Reservoir Dogs' back in 1992, tells HuffPost UK of the director's verbal blast at Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy: “Quentin's Quentin, and what he said was absolutely right. He's been asked that question since 'Reservoir Dogs', I remember it.
"And he said 'Google me', look me up. You know, do your homework, but the guy was obviously trying to get a rise out of him..., he did but he didn't come out of it looking too good, he came out looking a bit shabby, I think, not Quentin."
Tim Roth (front right) in Quentin Tarantino's 'Reservoir Dogs'
Roth, based in the US for the last decade, says he is himself on the NRA's 'blacklist' after speaking out on gun control at a function. He reflects, “I have the same argument with my kids or worry with them, playing video games, watching movies, but they have a strong sense of what is fiction, and what is reality that I've given them, and the sadness is that you make the assumption that that's always going to be the case, and it isn't.”
The question of violence and children is particularly pertinent for the actor with this week's release of 'Broken', named Best Film at the recent British Independent Film Awards. It features a group of neighbouring families, each facing their own challenges and, while Roth would seem the natural choice for the hot-tempered Oswald, it was actually the role of more passive Archie, lawyer and single father, which drew him...
“They had a little peek at me for Oswald,” explains Roth, in acknowledgement of this, “but I kept persisting with this idea of playing Archie, and when the actor who was going to play him fell out... luckily for me... I had to deliver.
“He doesn't know he's in the middle of all this, he's a guy who goes to work, loves his kids, he's a man of sound integrity, he's a good human being. I fell in love with him.”
Eloise Laurence and Tim Roth in 'Broken'
At the core of the story is the relationship between Archie and his daughter Skunk, played by first-timer Eloise Laurence. Roth is full of praise for his young co-star's debut - - “there's nothing first-time about that performance” - but sweetly modest about the prospect of surprising fans of his usual, more rabid-eyed turns...
“I hope I can surprise. You really try to get that right. We needed to give the audience something to lose, someone to try to hold onto.”
This isn't normally the duty that falls to Roth. He nods. “It was a very interesting experience. The core of the film is Eloise, the audience needed to see what was worth fighting for, before the devastation. Without it being sugary or saccharine, it was a delicate balance, but we got there.”
Another surprise coming the way of Roth's fans later this year will be his appearance as Prince Rainier opposite Nicole Kidman as 'Grace of Monaco', a film that's caused ripples before it's been finished, with the Monaco Royal Family reportedly up in arms about how they've been depicted. Roth is of the view this is a storm in a media teacup...
“I think it might have been blown out of proportion, because they read it, they (the Monagesques) signed off on it, and they gave us locations, they were very accommodating, so I think it might have been something that was said, and no one got the nuance.”
“But it's not a biopic, it's about a small event that took place and then we kind of play around with it.”
And, demonstrating just a bit more versatility, Roth is already in cinemas at the moment as the detective on the trail of Richard Gere's millionaire suspect in 'Arbitrage', an A-list pairing which provides the opportunity for his thoughts on the different kind of actors out there. Despite Roth's non-stop workrate, including a three-year stint on US series 'Lie To Me' (he sounds disappointed by its ending - “it was just getting somewhere, but it's out of your hands”) - he is firmly of the view that stars like Gere are in a different league...
“You want to have longevity as an actor, and possibly the shortest life span you can have as one is if you go into the movie star world, it's a case of 'here comes the next one, burn bright', but there are a few people who manage to make it last, and Richard still has an audience.
“But for most of the rest of us, it's about trying to keep it fresh, just for ourselves and to last as long as you can, because it's fun.”
Broken is in UK cinemas from this Friday 8 March. Watch the trailer below...